Shoecare - how to make your shoes shine

To take proper care of your shoes and make them look beautiful year after year the right shoe care products is very important. But you will also need the right skills to take full advantage of your high quality products. To clean and care for your shoes is a true artform that takes time to learn. We asked our customer RolleFC if he had any advice he wanted to share with the rest of us. We took an extra look at his shoes of the brand Crocket & Jones, Belgrave in the color antique chestnut. If you want to check out more of his shoes, check his instagram @RolleFC.

Step 1 - Preparation. Time spent 45 minutes, effective work 15 minutes.

Skorna efter förarbete

This total cleaning is something I do once a year. I start with a brush to remove dirt and then a cotton cloth with some moisture to wipe small particles away to avoid scratches. (I recommend everyone to do this each time after you have used your shoes). Since the shoes had a spit-shine before I clean the toes with Saphir Renomat on a cotton cloth. You have to be carefull so you dont remove the color from the leather itself. After that I clean the whole shoe with gall soap or saddle soap. Leave the foam and let them dry for the night. This is what they look like cleaned and ready for care.

Products used in this step:

Step 2 - Basic shoe care. Time spent 45 minutes, effective work 15 minutes

Skorna efter grundvård
When the shoes are completely dry I apply Saphir Creme Renovateur a couple of times. Renovateur is a great conditioner and it also gives the shoe a gentle cleaning. Let it absorb for about 10 minutes between every round.0 minuter efter varje omgång och borstar över skon med hästhårsborste mellan varje omgång. Dont forget the welt and the tongue. Saphir have good brushes for this: small applicator brush. If the shoes has been damaged, use a high quality shoe cream (for example Saphir Creme 1925). And the final addition in this step is to apply 1 layer of wax (Saphir Pate De Luxe) over the whole shoe, wait 5-10 minutes and then I brush the shoe to achieve a nice basic shine. Dont make the mistake to use to much of the products, only very thin layers are necessary. Its better to apply many thin layers than a few thick ones. On this picture Saphir Creme Renovateur has been applied in two layers and one layer of neutral wax has been applied. Usually I stop here and consider the job done, however I will make the final step this time to achieve that extra shiny toes.

Products used in this step:

Step 3 - Finish. Time spent 120 minutes, effective work 60-90 minutes

Skorna färdigputsade

Time for spitshine!!! If you just want to achieve a mirror shine on toe - just use neutral wax or a wax in the same color as the shoe. I enjoy giving the shoe a bit of ”antiquing” as well and to darken the to and heel with some black and/or dark brown wax adds an extra dimension in my opinion. Working with different colors also adds a special depth to the shine. A cotton cloth around your finger, a small amount of wax and a drop of water - then go in circles over a small area. More wax and more water again, again and again.

After a while you will notice some small resistance in the leather and you will start getting a surface of the wax. It will take some time so be patient. It takes extra long time on new shoes. Its also good to let the shoes rest for a while between the application of the wax så the wax can dry out and harden. Remember to only apply small amounts of wax and just a little drop of water.

When are you finished? That depends of course on your taste but I prefer a really glass-like shine on the whole toe. I switch between the colors of the wax all the time to get the depth im adter. To think of if you are doing a antiquing (for example darkened toe) is to let the dark wax dry out and harden before continuing, otherwise its easy that the wax just gets messed around on the toe.

There is no need to be afraid of destroying the shoe by using to dark colors, if the result doesnt get as you wanted its just to clean the shoe and start from the beginning. The wax is on the surface of the shoe and doesnt change the basic color of the shoe. I prefer to make the toe and the heel in spitshine.

If you do it on the part of the shoes that is moving when you walk the wax vill create small cracks in the surface wich doesnt look very good. if you think it takes very long time its good to know that it will get faster for every time. You dont have to start over each time either, if the toe gets scratches its just to put a new spitshine over the old one. You can see my result to the left.

Products used in this step:

Some final questions

What is your best advice for someone who want to start take care of their shoes?
Always use shoe trees. Brush your shoes after they have been used to get rid of dust and dirt, use a good shoe cream and dont forget to care about the welt. If you only want to use one product, then its a good shoe cream that is what you need. A good shoecream protects, gives shine and gives your shoes the care they need. Wax protects from water and gives an extra shine, but it doesnt nourish and condition the leather in any way.  Dont apply wax without Renovateur or shoecream first.

Wich is your favorite shoe in your own collection?
Depends on the weather and on my mood, this C&J shoe is one of my favorite along with some of my shoes from VASS and G&G.

Wich is your dream shoe?
Same here, it varies ☺. One shoe I know I will buy is  Edward Green’s Dover, even if I just ordered two other pairs of shoes. The Dover is always on my wanted list!